So who am I? I’m Ashley Valentine, a production and editorial assistant for Brian Flemming’s company, Beyond Belief Media.
I’ve been working on the tenkara documentary that Brian is directing, and he has put me in charge of LearnTenkara.com, the site where we are sharing instructional material on tenkara flyfishing in advance of the release of the documentary (which remains in active production, with no determined release date). For more about the site itself, click here.
While working on the documentary, I have become a total convert to tenkara flyfishing. I’ve been flyfishing here in Montana since I was 11 years old, when my mother taught me in the Western style. I’ve always enjoyed it, but the simplicity and beauty of tenkara makes flyfishing even better, I think. I’m more excited about fishing itself since discovering tenkara.
Like a lot of tenkara anglers, once I tried a tenkara rod, I never picked up a rod with a reel attached again. In April 2011, I had the privilege of helping to film Ryan Jordan and Daniel Galhardo as they spent two days fishing the Madison River with the Amago and Ito tenkara rods. Watching them constantly catch fish, including landing some big brown trout, convinced me there is virtually no water for which tenkara is not an appropriate choice.
One important caveat: I don’t claim to be an expert at tenkara. Not by a long shot. But I am trying to get better and better at it, and that’s mostly what my blog is about — a beginner’s introduction to tenkara theory, techniques and gear. While the videos and articles posted to the main LearnTenkara.com site mostly feature experts like Dr. Ishigaki, Daniel Galhardo, Chris Stewart and Ryan Jordan, the “Ashley’s Blog” section of the site is the tenkara beginner’s point of view.